News / Africa

Pirates to Hold British Couple Until Ransom Is Paid

A photo made on 28 Jan 2010 shows Briton Rachel Chandler (L) being examined by Somali doctor Abdi Mohamed Helmi (R) at a location in central Somalia, where she is being held since she and her husband Paul were kidnapped as they sailed their yacht, the Lyn
A photo made on 28 Jan 2010 shows Briton Rachel Chandler (L) being examined by Somali doctor Abdi Mohamed Helmi (R) at a location in central Somalia, where she is being held since she and her husband Paul were kidnapped as they sailed their yacht, the Lyn

A Somali pirate group holding a British couple kidnapped from their yacht one year ago says Paul and Rachel Chandler will not be released until a full ransom is paid.

In an interview with a local radio station in Somalia, a spokesman for the pirate group, identified only as "Qodar," insisted the Chandlers would never be allowed to go free unless the group's ransom demand is met.

Qodar says Paul and Rachel Chandler were well-treated for the first six months of their captivity, but their living conditions have deteriorated since. He says a ransom should be paid immediately to prevent the elderly couple from dying of neglect in Somalia.

The pirate group's statement appeared to be in response to a pledge made last week by Somalia's Transitional Federal Government to seek new negotiation channels, including contacts with clan and community leaders, for the Chandler's release. The government condemned the pirate hostage-takers, saying their actions have brought "terrible shame" to the nation.

Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping, which made headlines around the world. The retired couple, on a pleasure cruise, had just left the Seychelles islands in their yacht and was sailing toward Tanzania, when they were captured by a Somali pirate group on the prowl in the Indian Ocean.

Fearing a possible rescue attempt, the pirates kept the Chandlers on shore and in separate locations for months. But recent reports say the couple is now being held together because the pirates are no longer willing to pay the cost of keeping them apart.

It is believed the Chandlers are currently being held in or near the town of Adado, close to the Ethiopian border, in central Somalia. It is also the area, where a security consultant for British charity Save the Children was kidnapped on Oct. 15th.

Media reports say the consultant, Frans Barnard, went to Adado to try to contact the pirate group holding the Chandlers and negotiate their release. Barnard had recently expressed fear that the couple could become pawns in a conflict between their pirate captors and al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants trying to expand their control in the area.

The consultant was released five days later. Save the Children credited local clan elders for securing Barnard's release, and denied reports that a ransom of $100,000 had been paid to the kidnappers.

In June, a ransom of nearly $500,000, collected by friends and family of the Chandlers, was delivered to the pirates. But the exchange failed when, after the money was dropped-off, the pirates increased the ransom demand to $1 million for the couple.

The British government continues to oppose the payment of ransom and has not been involved in the case.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More